I find this thing about local, more direct exchange markets to be quite interesting, since I like those markets. Why don't such direct exchange markets exist in larger contexts?
This is a topic I also raised in the anti-biotic thread.
There certainly are some charms to locally produced products. Farmer's markets are great.... but seldom a less expensive option. Try buying small producer meat, or eggs or milk. It may be better but you gotta pay a premium for it.
And of course for 6 months a year, the local produce is mostly nonexistent. In the good ol days, people learned how to get by until local produce became available again....
I am not sure why it is that people today do not also do this.... For the sake of avoiding intrusive government regulated markets that they despise.
You see, even when locally produced craft products are available, people mostly prefer
to use regulated market places.
My wife makes craft jewelry. I think her product is quite good. It is unique and has the charm that mass produced jewelry lacks. It is not over priced. And still, most people prefer to buy a mass produced product, or name brands, in regulating market places. WHy is that?
People seldom offer to barter anything in exchange for my wife's jewelry.... And I have never observed a farmer's market vendor engaged in bartering. Would a farmer exchange 10 pounds of tomatoes for a pair of ear rings, or a bracelet? Do the people who sell tomatoes exchange them in barter with the people who sell strawberries, or orchids, or crepes, or grass fed beef?
For all of the charms of escaping government regulation and mass produced products....
The undeniable fact is that people prefer to use money as a medium of exchange. And people mostly prefer standardized products sold in regulated markets.
They do not have this preference because they are afraid of the government. They do not behave in this manner because they are fond of intrusive government regulation. People have the choice of living outside the grid of regulation.
People have the choice to lead lives where the government would have little or no idea of their activities. People have these options... and mostly people do not see that the benefits of the free market off grid life exceed the costs.
This choice to participate in regulated markets is not made from fear.... No one is afraid of a government raid confiscating goods exchanged outside the regulated markets. It is not intrusive government that drives our current economic marketplace.
People DO HAVE A CHOICE. And mostly they prefer regulated markets. No matter what you or I or Iss think about this.... that is the fact.